The 2020 session of the NM Legislature begins soon and UNM has been hard at work identifying this year’s legislative priorities. The state's abbreviated legislative sessions in even numbered years typically focus on state finances and a handful of policy initiatives.

When the 30-day session opens Jan. 21, legislators and the executive branch will be wrangling with how to best invest in New Mexico, while ensuring cash reserves are adequate. Gov. Michelle Lujan has indicated her priorities for the session include education, health care and infrastructure.

“UNM is grateful for the support we receive from the legislature and we are looking forward to the upcoming session,” said UNM Chief Government Relations Officer Barbara Damron.  “Our office has worked diligently with faculty, staff, students and leadership from across all of our campuses to evaluate our legislative needs and speak with a clear, unified voice to our legislators.”

With an estimated $800 million in new money available, New Mexico is again seeing increased general fund revenues from oil and gas activity. However, policymakers are familiar with this industry’s volatility and the risk that it poses to recurring revenues. Both the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) and the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) have submitted budget recommendations based on December revenue projections.

The following gives a brief glimpse of The University of New Mexico’s 2020 legislative priorities.


  • Funding Formula
    • Since the funding formula’s implementation eight years ago, UNM has exceeded the benchmarks established in the performance-based formula and strongly supports maintaining its current metrics. Institutions should be rewarded for efforts in improving outcomes for students. UNM supports the coordinated request for 8% new money in the funding formula made by the Council of University Presidents, Independent Community Colleges and the Association of Community Colleges.
  • School of Medicine I&G
    • The UNM School of Medicine is not part of the funding formula.  We seek a percentage parity with the funding received by other institutions throughout the state.
  • Compensation Formula Reform
    • UNM supports the state’s three higher education associations initiative to revise compensation calculation to include faculty and staff paid with tuition and fees. 
  • Compensation
    • UNM supports the state’s three higher education associations request for 5% compensation based on new compensation calculation. This request will reflect the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff.
  • NM Health Equity Scholarships
    • $6,000,000 to provide free Medical School tuition for students willing to commit to practicing in NM for four years post-residency. 

GO Bond

  • College of Fine Arts Facilities Renewal Phase 1 - $10 million
  • Nursing and Population Health - $33 Million
  • Gallup - Center for Career Technologies Education - $6 Million
  • Los Alamos - Workforce Development/CTE Classroom Reno - $2.5 Million
    • Building 7 Renovations and Safety Improvements - $1.5 Million
  • Taos - Career Technology Addition - $4.8 Million
  • Valencia- Fire Safety Improvements - $1.8 Million

STB/General Fund

  • Cancer Center Radiology Lab - $22 Million
  • Campus Infrastructure - $13.5 Million

Research & Public Service Projects

  • Network of Educators - $426,619
  • NM PBS - $1,113,800
    • Expansion request of $100,000
  • Substance Use Disorder Grand Challenge - $250,000
  • Native American Studies - $250,000
  • Project NM Graduates of Color - $185,850
  • Utton Center - $650,000
    • Expansion Request of $278,100
  • Shelter and Dignity - $371,212
  • Athletics - $4,293,000
    • Expansion Request of $500,000
  • UNM-LA Workforce Development - $92,150
  • Cancer Center - $4,250,000
    • $4,250,000 to replace funding cut from the Federal 340B Program
  • Project ECHO - $3,000,000
    • The requested funding will support the recurring deficit in the 40+ ECHO programs operating in NM. These funds will also support the strategic focus areas of the Health Sciences in Child wellbeing, behavioral health and substance use disorder, healthy aging and workforce development.
  • Child Wellbeing, ADOBE Program - $997,054
  • Healthy Aging - $2,311,554
    • Expansion of Geriatric Clinical Care, $1,011,554
    • Comprehensive Movement Disorder Center, $1,300,000
  • Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder - $1,750,000
    • Funds will support intermediate levels of care by providing intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization for adolescents at UNM Children’s Psychiatric Hospital.
  • Healthcare Workforce Development - $1,081,122
    • Undergraduate Nursing Expansion - $199,671
    • Direct Entry BSN - $428,271
    • Physician Assistant Program - $453,180